The Faculty of Humanities

Department of Aesthetic Studies



25 October 2006


Aarhus University

IT-Huset, Lille auditorium

The seminar Art|Net|Work deals with two important changes in our culture. On one side, the network has become essential in the latest technological development. The Internet has entered a new phase, Web 2.0, including the occurrence of as ‘Wiki’s’, ‘Peer-2-Peer’ distribution, user controlled taxonomies (‘Folksonomy’) and ‘Weblogs’. Also, platforms, programming and software are today very often created in open communities – as seen in the ‘Free/Open Source’ movement. On the other side, following the technological development, the network also has become essential in the art sphere. Artists focus on the ‘network’ itself as a phenomenon and are often using technological networks as a mean of production and distribution. This changes the artistic practice and the distribution channels of art works – and the traditional notions of ‘work’, ‘origin’ and ‘rights’ are increasingly perceived as limiting the praxis of the artist. We see different kinds of interventions and activism (including ‘hacktivism’) using the network as a way of questioning the invisible rules that govern public and semi-public spaces. Who ‘owns’ them? What kind of social relationships do they generate? On what principle is the community based? What kind of behaviour do these spaces cherish? Who does the community include – and who does it exclude? The creation of alternative, user controlled, open networks is in many cases the aspiration of art.

With a list of speakers who have hands-on experience in creating social networks Art|Net|Work wishes to focus on and discuss the interface between artwork and network. The key question will be how the network technology has become a primary distribution channel for this ‘network art’: Technological networks not only distribute text, images, video and audio – but also the network itself. How does this production (creation of a work) take place? How do you actually create open networks? What does the network’s user interface look like? Does the technological network replace/support a physical presence? When does the network conflict with other networks controlled by other mechanisms (the capital e.g.)? Is network art the fore post of a new economy? What pitfalls are there – in relation to the democratic viewpoints and processes the artwork is founded in? Are we speaking of a genuine need or is the network created to correspond with idealistic notions of exchange and community?


•         Olga Goriunova (Moscow)  –      
Artist, curator and media theorist. Co-founder of the read_me festivals for software art and of – repository for software art.

•         Saul Albert (London) –
Artist and (amongst other things) co-founder of Dorkbot (

•         Mikey Wienkove (London) - is an artist and racconteur from East London. He invented Talkaoke - the live, interactive talk show ( ) in 1997 and has been developing and hosting participatory public communication systems and technologies ever since.

•         Rasmus Fleisher (Stockholm) +
Co-founder of Piratbyrån (‘The Pirate Agency’), running the online ‘Pirate Bay’ – the world’s largest ’bit torrent tracker’ – much debated because of police investigations in Sweeden and allegations of assisting the distribution of copyrighted material.

•         Carlos Motta/PS122 (New York) – Editor of, a non-profit webzine-project of PS122 Gallery, New York- that aims to provide a space for conversation, practice and research of contemporary critical, conceptual and political art.

Art|Net|Work is arranged by the network project ’Mapping Intervention’ (Hanne Lindstrøm), the research project ‘The Aesthetics of Interface Culture’ and Digital Aesthetics Research Centre.

The seminar is supported IT-vest and the research focus Videnssamfundet (The Knowledge Society).

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Revised 2010.02.17